Bug Blog

Invasive Insect Devastates Nations Plants and Trees

Invasive Insect Devastates Nations Plants and Trees

A new pest has emerged to destroy our nation’s wildlife, the Spotted Lanterfly. The insect is highly adaptable, with 65 different hosts known so far, making the task of eliminating them very difficult. The eradication of the Spotted Lanterfly is quickly becoming a priority for the agriculture industry in Pennsylvania. Officials are most concerned with the bug’s impact on their grape, stone fruit, and apple industries, but pine and hardwood trees are also monitored. To date these little buggers have cost Pennsylvania $178 million, but if they begin to go after the trees, that could raise that price by up to $12 billion.

With support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Pennsylvania has terminated nearly 20,000 Spotted Lanterflies so far. Infested townships are being educated about the infestation, and a massive quarantine has been put in place around a number of other infested areas. Pennsylvania’s Department of Agriculture is prepared to expand the quarantine if necessary to kill off this pest. They are also working with Kutztown University and Penn State University to research and find a way to control the insect.

So far Pennsylvania is the only state affected. What tips might you have to help defeat these unwanted invaders?